At each stage of the buyer’s journey, the user intent is different. Consumer touchpoints are often taking the form of content placements to achieve a variety of goals throughout each stage of the funnel. With 87% of marketers already creating content for different customer journey stages, it is crucial for brands to embrace a full-funnel approach to remain relevant and visible to consumers among their competition.
What is a full-funnel approach?
A full-funnel marketing approach is more than just another campaign strategy; it’s a shift that combines brand-building with performance marketing. This approach is all about tailoring a brand’s messaging and promotions to fit each specific stage of the buyer’s journey.
Every stage of the funnel requires a different strategic approach, meaning that marketers must create unique, engaging content and messaging that will resonate with potential leads, with the ultimate intent of converting those leads into paying customers. The buyer’s funnel consists of three stages: awareness, consideration, and conversion. Within each stage of the marketing funnel, there are numerous partnerships and tactics that marketers should be utilising.
Beginning at the awareness stage, potential leads have proven to engage most with social media, influencer marketing, and targeted emails. As leads move down the funnel, they will typically research your brand using review and loyalty sites, interact with paid search placements, case studies, listicles, and more.
Once prospective customers reach the point of conversion, brands usually need to give these leads a final push through cart abandonment retargeting, giveaways, free trials, coupon and deal sites, and more. Illustrated by the graphic below, a full-funnel approach allows marketers to reach their target audience at all stages of the customer journey.
Let’s take a deeper dive into each stage of the funnel and what marketers should be implementing as they create and implement a full-funnel strategy.
Strategies for each stage of the marketing funnel:
Stage 1: Awareness (Upper-Funnel)
The awareness stage of the funnel focuses on impressions, audience reach, and engaging potential leads, all while creating content to keep the brand top of mind. This stage is one of the most important parts of the funnel because potential customers are in search of a product or service, but have yet to determine which brand to purchase from. Through attention-grabbing, educational content, marketers can generate awareness among new customers to influence consideration. Examples of top-performing upper-funnel content include:
- Blogs & How-To Guides
- Display ads
- Quick video placements
- Influencer marketing
- Social media
The key to a successful full-funnel approach is to ensure placements are reaching the right users on the channels they use most. Across social channels, photos and graphics are the most frequently used content type to increase brand awareness. Additionally, videos tend to generate strong engagement in the upper-funnel, with potential customers being 27.4x more likely to engage with a video ad over a banner ad.
Perform[cb] Agency recently determined that conversions driven within the upper-funnel are approximately five times more valuable to a brand than lower-funnel conversions. Learn more about how a full-funnel approach drove a 334% increase in order volume for Drizly during Q4!
In the early stages of the buyer’s journey, a clear understanding of consumer behaviour and preferences is paramount. Upon establishing these understandings, companies have reported marketing efficiency gains of up to 30% and incremental revenue growth of up to 10% without increasing the marketing budget. While upper-funnel content may not typically drive high sales volume, it’s important to remember the marketing rule of seven, or that several touchpoints are required to convert users. Learn more about how upper-funnel partners, such as niche bloggers, are great for increasing brand awareness and moving potential customers down the purchase funnel.
As marketers move beyond awareness campaigns and into a full-funnel customer acquisition strategy, they will find cost-efficient success within CPA marketing – more specifically the affiliate and performance marketing models. Downloading our guide will enable you to learn more about how a full-funnel approach can take your customer acquisition strategy to the next level.
Stage 2: Consideration (Mid-Funnel)
The average consumer engages with at least three to five pieces of content when they’re considering purchasing a new product or service. As marketers develop a full-funnel strategy, it is important to use the consideration stage of the funnel to focus on building brand loyalty and a desire for the product or service through the use of relevant content. Examples of top-performing mid-funnel content include:
- Case studies
- Customer reviews and testimonials
- Personalised email marketing
- Paid search
- Whitepapers and guides
The consideration stage of the purchase funnel focuses on metrics such as click-through rate (CTR), return on ad spend (ROAS), and others depending on the marketers’ objectives. The key to achieving these metrics is by creating a relationship with the customer. This can be done successfully through interactive, personalised marketing messages that deliver engaging and informative content based on the customers’ behaviour and interests.
53% of marketers recently said that personalised email marketing has been the most effective channel for driving leads down the funnel. As marketers test different mid-funnel content strategies, it will be important to ensure decisions are data-driven and based on target audience insights.
As customers move down the funnel, continuous personalised messaging and targeting will be vital to maintain high levels of engagement. Customer personalisation can go a long way towards a successful full-funnel approach by improving conversion rates and drawing new customers to your brand. Learn more about the importance of applying consumer insights when creating a full-funnel digital strategy.
Stage 3: Conversion (Lower-Funnel)
As potential customers reach the lower-funnel, it’s likely they are familiar with a brand’s product or service and have continually engaged with the brand’s marketing touchpoints. By the time customers reach this stage, it will be key for marketers to make it as easy as possible to drive consumers toward the desired action and, if necessary, give that extra push towards conversion.
When creating a lower-funnel strategy, marketers should be encouraging customers to take action by offering them relevant coupons and deals. Check out these effective lower-funnel tactics to incorporate into your conversion strategy:
- Free trials
- Special offers and sales
- Contests or giveaways
- Deal and loyalty site partnerships
- Cart abandonment retargeting
- Free shipping
If personalised marketing efforts are consistently incorporated throughout the entire buyer’s journey, marketers will see an increase in conversions. A recent study showed that 49% of consumers made impulse purchases after receiving a targeted ad, with 44% becoming repeat customers after personalised buying experiences. Additionally, a study found that 83% of consumers changed their buying habits when presented with a discount code; we’re aware that discounts are critical to a full-funnel approach in the performance marketing channel.
As valuable customers move down the funnel, marketing efforts should become increasingly relevant and targeted. While steady upper-funnel volume is important for creating brand awareness, a full-funnel approach is key to driving conversions. Check out our case study to see how a popular beauty brand, seeing steady upper-funnel volume, shifted its strategy to utilise a full-funnel approach to drive new customers down the funnel to convert.
As conversions begin to pile up, brands should know this is only the beginning; marketers must measure and evaluate their new customer data to maximise customer lifetime value (CLV) and drive repeat purchases.
A full-funnel approach enables marketers to nurture prospects and existing customers from awareness and consideration, all the way through conversion and post-purchase. The brands that see the greatest performance results meet consumers at each stage of the buyer’s journey by implementing a full-funnel marketing strategy. By linking initial KPIs and results through the various channels and stages of the purchase funnel, marketers can better understand the impact of their marketing efforts.
Full-funnel marketing can’t be done effectively without close collaboration and relationship-building among all stakeholders. This includes brand managers, performance marketing leaders, PR and editorial teams, content partners, review sites, and more.